LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Kings can always lean on goalie Jonathan Quick to get them out of difficult stretches, and he was at his best in a 2-0 win against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday at Staples Center.
Quick made 31 saves and Tanner Pearson scored his team co-leading 10th goal in the first period, enabling the Kings to prevail in an expectedly low-scoring game that could be a Stanley Cup Final preview. Tyler Toffoli scored into an empty net at 19:10 of the third period, his 10th goal of the season.
Quick's best's save was a highlight-reel, left-to-right rib-cage block on Torey Krug's shot at an open left side of the net with about 12 minutes left.
"The one save he made in the third period was Quickie-like, and the one that we probably needed to get the two points," center Anze Kopitar said. "It was a great performance by him."
Los Angeles was 1-2-1 in its previous four games and was coming off a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, but Quick got his 34th career shutout and improved to 10-1-1 in his past 12 home games after the Krug save helped him to his third shutout this season.
"There was a scrum to my left and I could have swore I heard a whistle," Quick said. "The puck kind of squirted out … so I really didn't move at first. Then he [Krug] looked like he was winding up with some purpose. I felt like I had to get over there and the puck just kind of hit me."
Boston is without Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Adam McQuaid but hasn't used injuries as an excuse. The Bruins played a thorough game Monday but lost 3-2 at the Anaheim Ducks; they have scored more than two goals once in 10 games and remain in an 0-for-14 power-play slump after they did not have a man-advantage all night.
Backup goalie Niklas Svedberg took the loss despite stopping 34 of 35 shots.
"Again, our goaltenders in both those games have been good," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "They've given us a chance to win hockey games. Again, we just can't find ways to score some goals here. It's hard to get mad at these guys when you see the effort being put in and the commitment and everything else. Just at the end of the night, didn't get rewarded with a single point."
Pearson, placed on a line with Kopitar and Jeff Carter, one-timed a slick pass from Kopitar into a gaping net at 16:20 of the first period. The possession started after a turnover by Bruins center Chris Kelly. Kopitar grabbed the loose puck off a blocked shot and fed Pearson; the assist ending a five-game point drought.
Pearson later hit the post. His goal came after Boston killed a 5-on-3 Kings power play for 1:26 in which they put 10 shots on Svedberg.
The 1-0 lead was a significant change for the Kings, who were outscored 6-1 in the opening periods in three of their previous four games.
"I thought our start was better than last game," Kopitar said. "We were able to get the first goal, which hasn't really happened all that often. It was nice, for a change, playing with the lead, instead of chasing."
Boston pepped up midway through the second period but still couldn't score, partly because of Quick, who made a glove save on Kelly and stopped Simon Gagne breaking in from the left side. Kelly also just missed after taking a feed from Matt Fraser late in the period.
"It's disappointing," Bruins center Gregory Campbell said. "The teams that we're playing now are pretty competitive teams, well-built teams. When we make mistakes, we're going to pay for them. It's almost like playoff hockey when you play teams of this caliber. The intensity and efforts are there, but mistakes here and there are going to cost us."
"Those guys, when they come back, always have a lot of energy," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "I thought the pair was really good."
Forward Marian Gaborik missed his 10th game of the season because of an upper-body injury.